Israeli Forces Target Gaza’s Second-Largest City, Khan YounisDecember 5, 2023
Israel has increased its bombardment in and around Gaza’s second-largest city early Tuesday. This has resulted in ambulances and private cars rushing to a local hospital to take people wounded in the new phase of the war. Under U.S. pressure to prevent mass casualties, Israel is widening its offensive into southern Gaza after targeting much of the north. Palestinians say they do not feel safe anywhere and fear leaving their homes. The bombardment and ground offensive has caused most of the territory’s 2.3 million residents to flee their homes. New evacuation orders around Khan Younis are further compressing people into smaller areas. Ambulances took dozens of wounded people, including a young boy whose hand was blown off, to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.
Troops have also moved into Bani Suheila after heavy airstrikes. Israel ordered the evacuation of northern Gaza at the start of the war and has prohibited people who left from returning. In the south, people are being evacuated from almost two dozen neighborhoods in and around Khan Younis. This has significantly reduced the areas where civilians can seek refuge in central and southern Gaza.
“Nowhere is safe in Gaza, and there is nowhere left to go,” Lynn Hastings, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said Monday.
Israel says it is aiming to dismantle Hamas’ military infrastructure and remove it from power to prevent another attack like the one that sparked the war. The military accuses Hamas of using civilians as human shields and fighting in dense residential areas where they have tunnels, bunkers, and rocket launchers. After weeks of bombing, Hamas’ top leader was able to lead cease-fire negotiations and orchestrate the release of hostages in exchange for prisoners. Keep in mind that the fighting has caused over 15,890 deaths in Gaza, with 70% being women and children.